Local Features

In addition to the local news, WXPR Public Radio also likes to find stories that are outside the general news cycle... Listen below to stories about history, people, culture, art, and the environment in the Northwoods that go a little deeper than a traditional news story allows us to do. Here are all of the series we include in this podcast: Curious North, We Live Up Here, A Northwoods Moment in History, Field Notes, and Wildlife Matters.

These features are also available as a podcast by searching "WXPR Local Features" wherever you get your podcasts.

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Continuing his way through a few of your wildlife-related Curious North questions, the Masked Biologist talks about hand feeding birds – and other related thoughts – in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

In a curious north question from a few months back, Alice asked the question “Does everyone up North feed birds from their hands?”

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With the Oneida County Fair kicking off tomorrow, we thought we’d remember a special moment at the Oneida County Fair back in 1938.

Gary Entz continues our series A Northwoods Moment in History with the story, starting with the history of the National Barn Dance radio program.

In the 1930s The National Barn Dance was one of the most popular programs on broadcast radio, and it was a great favorite in the Northwoods.  Two stars in particular were beloved in the Northwoods, and that was the singing duo of Lulu Belle and Skyland Scottie.


Getting kids to shift their attention to the outdoors can be a challenge, even on a beautiful summer day.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about his own efforts as a father to help keep children connected to nature.

In a region where towns are as small and scattered as the Northwoods, it can sometimes be hard to find people who share your same interests. The Rhinelander Photography Club though has been connecting local photographers since 2013. 

WXPR’s Hannah Reese continues our We Live Up Here series with the story. 

During WXPR's Curious North road trip in June, Shane B. asked us this question at our stop in Crandon: There was an X-Files episode in the 1st season that was in Townsend, WI. Was it actually filmed here?

For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz answers Shane's question and also tells us about a real UFO incident that occurred in the Northwoods back in 1961.

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For this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist tackles another Curious North question, about some of Wisconsin’s largest migratory birds—swans and cranes.

This is another curious north question that captured my interest, so I thought I would spend some time talking about some of our area’s less common migratory birds. Rosemary Resch asked “Do swans, sandhill cranes and whooping cranes summer anywhere in Wisconsin or are they primarily migratory?”

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

A unique art exhibit has been the focus at ArtStart Rhinelander since May. Layers by artist Phillip Faulkner is on display through Saturday, August 10th.

The exhibit combines appropriated imagery with original work and the artist behind it says he's open to any and all interpretations you might have of it.

Mackenzie Martin has this report from the opening reception in June.




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You've heard of John Dillinger and the famous shootout at Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, but have you ever heard of Evelyn Frechette?

That's the topic of this week's A Northwoods Moment in History with Gary Entz.

Evelyn Frechette grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and gained a measure of fame in the 1930s.  Her celebrity did not come from being a film actress or anything of that sort.  Rather, Evelyn Frechette became famous and drew crowds for national speaking tours because of her association with gangsters.

Most snowshoes in the United States are probably in storage right now, gathering dust and waiting for temperatures to drop. In the town of Lake Tomahawk in the Northwoods of Wisconsin though, they're getting a lot of use this summer.

Snowshoe baseball is exactly what it sounds like. It's a game of baseball played on snowshoes, though it more closely resembles a bizarre game of softball.

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Springtime woodpecker worries are the focus of this week’s Wildlife Matters, as the Masked Biologist tackles another Curious North question from one of our listeners.

I get questions or concerns pretty frequently about woodpeckers hurting or killing trees, so when I saw this Curious North question, I thought I would try to address Jane Trotter’s concerns. She asks “A Hairy Woodpecker is busily working on a Hemlock tree right outside our bedroom window. The Hemlock appears to be alive and well....so far. Will Hairy’s morning percussions hurt the tree?”

Michigan Technological University

Climate Change can be overwhelming to think about.

Author Nancy Langston has been researching Lake Superior for over a decade now though and she says local stories of people taking action give her hope.

Larry Lapachin continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.


Gary Entz / WXPR Public Radio

This week's A Northwoods Moment in History comes from a Curious North question.

Bob Nussbaum from Rhinelander asks: Why, and when, did the famous smokestacks of Rhinelander Paper, get shortened, so that the word "Glassine," the description of the butcher paper that changed the world, lost its "G"?

To answer Bob's question, here's Gary Entz.

Pens and Photo by Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses bird’s-eye wood, some of the most beautiful material a woodworker can use.

When I say “figure in wood” you may not be familiar with the phrase.  But if I say bird’s-eye maple, an image of beautiful swirls pops into your mind.  There are many other types of wood figure such as curly, tiger stripe, fiddleback, and quilted, but I would like to focus on bird’s-eye today.

Photo by Warren Lynn. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist tackles one of WXPR’s Curious North questions.

Emily DiGiorgio from Ironwood, MI, asks: How can we help accommodate wildlife in our backyards without disturbing our home aesthetic?

To answer Emily's question, here's the Masked Biologist.